Archive for December, 2006

Hallelujah! Wait. Wtf?

Yeah, these are the feelings I went through as I read this article in the Times-Picayune about the “return of the St. Charles Streecar”. I use quotations because the streetcar is operating from Canal Street to Lee Circle. And they are charging $1.25 for it! WTF? Who is going to ride this thing for 10 blocks? Who!?! Even the tourists want to get a little further than that! Meanwhile all the politicians are high-fiving and chest-bumping each other over this “major step in the recovery process”. I mean, they promised it would be up and running by the end of the year. I suppose this is the way the politicians can put a check mark next to ‘another promise fulfilled’.
Personally, I love the St. Charles streetcar and I truly look forward to the return of it – the real return of it, that is – I just hope this doesn’t mean the powers that be will stop working on the entire line uptown along St. Charles now that they have a little widdy bit of it operating.
Ellis%20Lucia%20Times-Picayune.jpg Picture by Ellis Lucia / Times-Picayune

It Only Gets Worse

Killings are on the rise in New Orleans, as are the murders of statistics by Warren Riley and English by the T-P.

nola.com: Murders up over the past 3 months

In a press release, NOPD Superintendent Warren Riley touting the statistics,, noting that the number of people killed in the third quarter of 2006 was 22 percent less than the same period for 2005. In those months, 68 people were murdered. But that comparison is skewed because it includes the month of September, when the city emptied out almost completely.

What was the following sentence supposed to say? How exactly are we supposed to stay informed when the local Pulitzer-winning paper acts best as dog-crate lining?

Murders, often cited as the best gauge for how crime in post-flood New Orleans, because the virtual collapse of the police department hampered its ability to collect statistics on crimes that didn’t leave bodies behind.

If New Orleans doesn’t know the facts and, even worse, denies them when it does, we’re in for a world of trouble.

I Love Entergy

…and I bet you will too when you receive your next bill. It was like an early Christmas gift for me. It was like a cute little puppy dog all dressed up in candy cane stripes and jingle bells and a tail made of licorice. But instead of fur, it had red ants crawling all over it, and instead of licking my face and barking, it stole $266 from my wallet, then pissed black ink on my carpet and called my girlfriend a whore. I guess I’ll be freezing my ass off for the next few months, as heat is suddenly an unaffordable luxury. I don’t think my bill has ever been more than half this high.

Holiday Spirit

Crying%20Santa%202.jpg

Santa, over on Salcedo. St.

Santa’s Little Sleighers vs. The Tannenbombers

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Tickets are still available for the next Big Easy Rollergirls bout. Tickets will be sold at the door on Saturday, Dec. 16 at Mardi Gras World. It will be a holiday affair as Santa’s Little Sleighers and The Tannenbombers vie for the Glory in Excelsis DERBY! There will be live music by The Vettes, rebel-rousing by MC Trachiotomy, and delicious concessions by Juan’s Flying Burritos and Slice Pizza. BERG mascot Ruthie the Duck Girl will have her trademark sack of gifts for the crowd.

Give back to the community this holiday season! Bring an unwrapped toy or ornament to the bout, and spread cheer to those who need it most during the holidays. Your donations will go to a great cause, and you’ll receive a beverage ticket at the bout!

All bouts will be held at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World at 7:00 pm (Doors at 6pm) * Your ticket stub gets you free entry to the afterparty at the Old Point Bar at 545 Patterson in Algiers Point.

Can We Start Lynching People Again?

These people deserve it, along with anyone else caught stealing copper. Most likely anyone arrested for it is going to get a slap on the wrist and be back out on the street the next day. Seems the only way to stem this problem might be to gather an angry mob and take these folks to the foot of Canal Street for a public execution. Sounds barbaric, I know, but we’re not fooling anyone by acting civilized down here anymore.

There’s always something entertaining on Craigslist

What’s tickling me right now is these listings.

As you see, this is for an apartment just a couple of blocks from where I live, which is to say it’s in a flooded, scabby, partially inhabited neighborhood. For your reference this is one block off Canal from Mandina’s restaurant. In early November they were asking $1,500/month for this two bedroom half-a-double camelback shotgun. Inexplicably, they have been unable to find a tenant, so they have generously lowered the rent by $15/month since then, have been advertising it nearly every week, and are still somehow unable to find a tenant.
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Oh lord, it’s hard to be humble…

…when you’re spending the week in Dallas after the Saints spanked the Cowboys on national TV. I’m being gracious when the locals note my Saints cap or the “Faith” sticker on my truck — explaining the Saints got spanked the same way up in Pittsburgh a month ago. Any given Sunday, etc, etc. But it’s a sweet feeling indeed and I’m just gonna enjoy it while it lasts. We might see these guys again down the road come playoff time. Go Cowboys — beat Atlanta this week. Please.

Anyway — being in Dallas gives me a chance to get a better understanding of how those outside New Orleans are viewing what’s going on in our city. While there are jerks everywhere, the questions I hear about the recovery and related topics are coming from honest concern, compassion and interest. And, being back in a big city where everything works during a holiday season, it’s giving me a chance to reflect a bit….
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Big Losers

Apricot%20House.jpg Apricot%20Demolition.jpg

This post is to thank all you hard-working Americans for paying for the demolition of this perfectly good home in Carrollton. While there was nothing wrong with this house, the city approved it’s FEMA funded demolition. I have been in Shitty Hall asking about a short list of properties from the FEMA list which, by the city’s own assessment are under 20% damaged yet are on the demolition list. Well, the shit hit the fan yesterday when this house was demolished. Mike Centenio, the head of Safety & Permits, when asked about this property,responded:

“We had Nelson Savoie screen the HCDRC from the CORPS list but must have missed this one; we have 8 coming up at the next meeting. I have advised my permitting supervisor of the HCDRC required approval for all demos; no excuses because this was never excused as a requirement for demolitions.”

I know people make mistakes, but we’ve been busting our asses to bring this to the attention of the deputy city attorney, Pete Hamilton. Pete says it’s Tony Fasciane’s department, and Mike Centenio blames little Nelson Savoir, the chairman of the Historic Conservation District Review Committee well, you know what . . . that house cannot be replaced. The materials are simply too expensive. The neighbors were horrified. The demolition team admitted that they all walked through the house and said they would all have liked to own it and couldn’t understand why they were being asked to demolish it. Yet, they did it anyway. This won’t stop me from asking to see the application and to continue to ask questions about why some people get their houses demolished for free and bypass proper procedures. Why was the building at 3601 Prytania declared an “imminent threat” for the convenience of Touro? Now that it’s done, no one wants to take responsibility for it. It’s this lack of a sense of responsibility that makes us all big losers.

Crime Mapping

Last week, Jack lamented the lack of public information being released by the police department, and the lack of say, a geographical info system that would allow people to pinpoint crimes in their own neighborhood. In the comments, Laureen correctly pointed out that the information is available, one just has to attend a NONPAC meeting at the police station to get it. Very simple. Almost as easy as, say, opening up a newspaper and reading the police blotter, as you would do in any other place in the United States. This is a convenience that the NOPD, for some reason, is unwilling to provide.

And the NOPD is using very hi-tech mapping technology too.. you just have to go to the meeting to get a peek at it. The technology can be seen below. It’s called BPPOCXM technology. That’s short for “Ball Point Pen On Crappy Xeroxed Map.” They hand these out if you go to the meeting.

http://neworleans.metblogs.com/archives/images/2006/12/NONPAC%2520crime%2520maps%2520from%2520mtg%2520on%252011%252C21%252C061-thumb.gif http://neworleans.metblogs.com/archives/images/2006/12/NONPAC%2520crime%2520maps%2520from%2520mtg%2520on%252011%252C21%252C062-thumb.gif

Yep. Amazing hi-tech tools they’ve got down there. I can’t imagine why crime is a problem here.

**addendum: looking at this stuff closer it looks like the crime symbols are actually computer generated, but their descriptions are written in ballpoint. So there is something beyond pens being employed by the NOPD, still, the public has virtually no access to it whatsoever.

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